The Forum of Young Global Leaders is a community of innovators from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Search current members and alumni by year awarded, sector or region.

Muna AbuSulayman

Founder, NIYA, Saudi Arabia

Muna AbuSulayman, continuously named one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World since 2009 and until 2019 for her work in media, gender, leadership and education and as an iconic Arab media personality and humanitarian. Currently, She is also Social Impact Investor concentrating on using AI for education, media projects for awareness and Charity effectiveness. Muna is part of the Saudi Government think tank for G20 2020 preparation (on the SDG, Women, and NGO themes) and advises various foundations on youth, media, and female empowerment.

As the head of Directions Consulting and Partner 3S (Saudi Sustainable Solutions), she is focusing her development efforts on unemployment and entreprenuership in the Arab world. As the former Secretary-General of the Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation, she supported innovation and strategic initiatives to combat poverty, empower women and reframe the Islam-West dialogue. She is also a founding Co-Host of Kalam Nawaem, the Arab world's most popular TV shows.

AbuSulayman was appointed as the first Saudi UNDP Goodwill Ambassador. A Member of the Young Presidents' Organization, a Yale World Fellow and Aspen Institute Middle East Fellow. She serves on several non-profit boards and is the recipient of numerous awards, including a “PhD in They Didn't Teach That in School from Life/MOM University”

Anu Acharya

Founder and Chief Executive Officer,, India

Ms. Anu Acharya is the CEO of Mapmygenome India, a Genomics company whose vision is “To touch 100 million lives using genomics”. In 2013, she introduced the concept of improved healthcare through personal genomics in India. Ever since, she has successfully pioneered the company through growing product lines, expanding affiliate network, and a Pre-Series A round of funding. Under her able leadership, the company has won several awards and honors: ET Startup Awards 2015 – Women Ahead​, Nasscom Emerge 50 – League of 10​, Emerging Company of the Year 2015 – Govt. of Karnataka, SMART CEO ​List of Top 50 Startups, VCCircle Innovative Healthcare Startup 2015​, and more. She is a Distinguished Alumna from IIT Kharagpur.
From 2000 until April 2013, Ms. Anu Acharya was the CEO of Ocimum Biosolutions, a global
genomics outsourcing partner for discovery, development and diagnostics, a company that began as a pure Bioinformatics company. Since co-founding the company in 2000, she has led the company through three strategic international acquisitions, two capital raises for equity investments and launch of several innovative products, solutions and services through its proprietary platform called RaaS (Research as a Service).
Prior to founding Ocimum Biosolutions, Ms. Acharya has had rich experience in the Telecom, IT and entrepreneurship arenas. She worked for a start-up in the telecommunications space called Mantiss Information and a consulting firm called SEI Information where she helped create a social networking site for entrepreneurs. Her experience is backed by education at premier institutions such as the Indian Institute of Technology at Kharagpur, India (IIT) and University of Illinois where she has two Postgraduate degrees in Physics and MIS.

Michael Acton Smith

Founder, Inc, USA

Michael Acton Smith OBE is the founder and co-CEO of Calm develops digital and physical products that enhance mental fitness and alleviate some of the most important mental health issues of the modern age (anxiety, depression, insomnia and stress). Out vision is to build Calm into the Nike for the Mind. Michael also created Mind Candy and creator of Moshi Monsters, the global entertainment hit for children with 80 million registered users that expanded into books, toys, music, magazines, trading cards and a movie.

Joseph Adelegan

President, Global Network for Environment and Economic Development Research, Nigeria

DM in Management; PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Chartered Civil and Structural Engineer. Over 20 years' engineering consultancy experience on internationally financed water and sanitation and renewable energy projects and social entrepreneurship. Formerly consultant for: World Bank Group; African Development Bank; United Nations. Formerly Founder: Global Network for Environment and Economic Development Research, African frontline citizen sector organization involved in environment and sustainable development issues; Green Power Partnership, technology innovation company involved in eco-solution and renewable energy in Africa. Fellow: Ashoka-Lemelson, Salzburg; Clinton Global Initiative. Recipient of awards.

Yonatan Adiri

Founder and Chief Executive Officer,, Israel

Graduate (Hons), advanced graduate programme, Tel Aviv University. Entrepreneur. Devises and executes disruptive innovation across the government and business spheres. Founder and Chief Executive Officer,, a start-up that develops advanced image and colour recognition capabilities to enable affordable decentralized healthcare. 2008, entrusted by Shimon Peres, a founding father and at the time the 9th President of Israel, to serve as his first Chief Technology Officer; devised a creative policy of technological diplomacy, forging a set of global collaborations in the water, space, agro and biomedical fields. Unique experiences led to development of “An Era of Permanent Revolution” a management framework that stands at the core of advisory role with global leaders. President, inaugural class, NASA-based Singularity University. Co-Founder,, car sharing pioneer.

Ali Adnan Ibrahim

Global Head of Sustainability and Social Responsibility, Al Baraka Banking Group, Bahrain

Dr. Ali Adnan Ibrahim is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and Global Head of Sustainability and Social Responsibility at the Al Baraka Banking Group in Bahrain, the world's largest Islamic banking network. He leads Social Credits Initiative, which is a formal initiative of the Forum of Young Global Leaders and it seeks to incentivize private investments for sustainable development and inclusive growth. Ibrahim is Chair of Sustainable Development Committee of the Bahrain Association of Banks that examines and explore various ways in which the banking sector can contribute to the continued sustainable development of Bahrain. Ibrahim has published internationally and his areas of interest and expertise include market-based strategies for financial inclusion and enterprise development, impact and blended finance, digital and sustainable finance, Islamic finance, the intersection of impact and faith, microfinance, foreign direct investments, and financial regulation.

Thomas Aeschi

Member of the National Council, Swiss Parliament, Switzerland

Master’s in Public Administration, Harvard University and MBA, University of St. Gallen. Member of the Swiss House of Representatives (Nationalrat) since 2011, being elected in 2017 as Party Whip of the Swiss People’s Party, the largest political party in Switzerland.

Lucy Aharish

Anchor, Reshet 13, Israel

Lucy Aharish is an Israeli Arab news anchor, reporter and television host. She is notable for being the first Arab Muslim news presenter on mainstream Hebrew-language Israeli television. As of 2018, Aharish serves as a news anchor at Reshet 13. She was previously a morning anchor on a current affairs show on its predecessor, Channel 2; a presenter of the Evening Edition at i24news; a news presenter and reporter at Channel 10; a co-host at Radio 99; and a late-night co-host at Channel 1. In April 2015, Aharish was one of 12 Israeli personalities chosen to light torches in the official ceremony kicking off Israel's 67th Independence Day celebrations.

David Aikman

Chief Representative Officer, China, Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum Beijing, People's Republic of China

1995, BA (Hons) in English and German Literature, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada; 2003, MBA, IMD, Lausanne, Switzerland. More than 18 years' experience in business development, fundraising, sponsorship, marketing and brand stewardship in high-profile, complex, international environments. 1995-2002, with International Olympic Committee: Marketing Manager, Licensing; Marketing Group Manager, Business Development. Since 2003, with the World Economic Forum, including: grew and led Partnership Team; led Professional Services industry practice; responsible for Forum of Young Global Leaders, Global Shapers Community, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, Technology Pioneers and Global Growth Companies Community. Council Member, United World Colleges.

Pallavi S. Aiyar

Japan Correspondent, The Hindu, Japan

BA in Modern History, Oxford, MSc in Global Media, London School of Economics and University of Southern California. Formerly: China Adviser, Confederation of Indian Industry; Beijing Bureau Chief, The Hindu; Europe Correspondent, The Business Standard. Brains Trust Member, Evian Group, IMD. Author: Smoke and Mirrors: An Experience of China (2008); Chinese Whiskers (2011); Punjabi Parmesan (2013); Babies and Bylines (2016; Choked (2016) ). Recipient of awards and honours, including: Prem Bhatia Award for political reporting (2007); Reuters Journalism Fellow, Oxford University; Vodafone Crossword Popular Award for literature (2008) China-India Friendship Award (2010).

Shaharzad Akbar

Chairperson, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, Afghanistan

Shaharzad Akbar is currently Chairperson for Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. She was previously Deputy National Security Council on Peace and Civilian Protection. Shaharzad has also worked Senior Advisor to Afghan President on High Development Councils (August 2017-August 2018) and in this capacity, coordinated the prioritization of development projects and programs for high level decision-making. Prior to this, Shaharzad was Country Director for Open Society Afghanistan (Sep 2014-July 2017), a non-profit that supports Afghan civil society and media in areas of peacebuilding, human rights and promoting tolerance. Before this, Shaharzad was partner and chief operating officer with QARA Consulting, a firm owned and run by young Afghans in Kabul which she co-founded in 2010, an analyst for the Free and Fair Elections Foundation, a journalist for BBC Afghanistan and a research assistant on the Women of Courage book project. In 2012, she was the first elected chairperson for the Afghanistan 1400 movement.
Born in Jawzjan, Afghanistan in 1987, Shaharzad lived for a few years as refugee in Pakistan during the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Shaharzad completed an MPhil at Oxford University as a Weidenfeld scholar in 2011; previously she obtained her BA (cum laude) in anthropology from Smith College in the U.S.
Shaharzad’s writing has appeared in international and Afghan media including Newsweek and Al Jazeera, and academic journals. Based in Kabul and an active tweeter and writer, Shaharzad is an active voice on political issues related to her country and her generation. In 2017, she was selected by World Economic Forum as Young Global Leader.

To learn more about Shaharzad, see below:
Interviews: (Discussion on peace in Farsi)

Vikram K. Akula

Chairperson, Vaya Financial Services, India

Vikram Akula is at the forefront of creating market-based solutions for financial inclusion. Before becoming Chairperson of Vaya Finserv Private Limited, Vikram began working in rural development as a grassroots social worker in India. Prior to his position, Vikram founded Bharat Financial Inclusion and worked at McKinsey & Company and the Worldwatch Institute. Vikram was named TIME magazine one of the 100 most influential people in the world, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and is a recognized Echoing Green Fellow. Vikram published several books including “Micro-Meltdown: The Inside Story of the Rise, Fall, and Resurgence of the World's Most Valuable Microlender" and "A Fistful of Rice: My Unexpected Quest to End Poverty Through Profitability." He is a graduate of Tufts University, Yale University and University of Chicago.